It is very difficult to create meaningful, hopeful content at a time like this when we are watching Black people around the country protest our continuing oppression and the fact that our murders can now be recorded… and ignored because somehow that’s not enough proof of wrongdoing.
We live in a country that claims to be better than everyone else even though
- We have over a hundred thousand documented COVID-19 deaths specifically because the administration does not care about us and politicians do not care about us and once they saw which communities were disproportionately affected – and dying – just sort of Kanye shrugged their way out of caring or acting
- Our literal infrastructure – bridges, dams, etc – is crumbling around us as I type this
- Thousands of Puerto Ricans died in Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and the mainland has never once treated them with the respect that they deserve. As recently as February 2019, when I took off from a flight from San Juan, the island was not 100%
- One in like five children in the country are either food insecure or are starving
- If someone loses their job in this country, they lose their health insurance and that of their family as well
- the Navajo Nation and Native communities are being left to fend for themselves during the COVID-19 crisis in another act of obvious hatred that is linked with a genocidal desire for their nonexistence
- At the end of the day, it never has been better than most countries out there.
So yeah, it’s hard to create right now.
But on top of that:
It’s hard to get on social media and see anything that can truly distract me. My timeline on twitter is full of photos, videos, and texts about the protests around the country. It’s full of people showing that even in the middle of a pandemic and increasingly public antiblackness, they’re still going to find time to be antiblack on fandom/stan twitter.
It’s hard to see some of the same incredibly antiblack fandoms – and fans – who police (yes, police) how Black people in fandom can care about antiblackness in fandom and who attempt to punish us (by dogpiling us, lying on us, disrupting our fandom existence, shunning us if they can) when we speak up… tweeting about how get that #BlackLivesMatter and pretending that they give two shits about Black people and fatal police brutality and antiblackness.
(It’s been hard as hell seeing non-Black people say like outright that they “don’t have to” talk about what’s happening to us and what’s affecting the Black people in their fandoms because “fandom is my safe space” when Black people have never had a guaranteed safe space in any fandom – not from the antiblackness of the outside world and not from the antiblackness of our peers in fandom.)
It’s hard to realize that the hashtags and the online activism and the donation chains will dry up by this time next week because people really think this ends at any point other than rebellion, resistance, and rising up together.
And I can’t just log off. In part because I feel like I have to bear witness to this and share links as I come across them. But partially? I feel like if I log off or go to sleep or do something that isn’t anxiously refresh my twitter feed –
I’ll miss a further downward slide to hell. I mean, right before I went to sleep for three restless and rough hours, I saw video footage of armed white children being trotted out in Georgia apparently, dressed and utilized as soldiers as if this that makes any damn sense.
If that could happen while I was awake… what will I miss when I’m asleep?
I don’t have a large platform, but what I do have, I want to use. If you are unsure about how you can help in these trying and frankly terrifying times, here are some options I insist you utilize:
- Here’s a digital magazine from 2014 that shows ways that you can be a part of this and support people fighting for change when you can’t be out in the streets
- Use resistbot (or directly reach out) to contact your elected officials and urge them to condemn the president’s racist comments about the protests that will lead to further violence against Black people. Urge your elected officials at every level to speak out about the injustice that is facing Black people right now.
- Talk to your family and friends about their own antiblackness and what’s going on in the news… but cut them out if they’re going to continue to be directly and willfully antiblack.
- Keep signing the “Justice For George Floyd” White House petition. While it’s hit its goal, more signatures can’t hurt.
- Learn about other victims of antiblack violence and police brutality like Breonna Taylor who was murdered in her home by cops who had the wrong house and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, whose family says was thrown from her balcony to her death by Toronto police. Learn about them and look up how you can help.
- If you’re a non-Black person of color, seriously talk to your family and friends about their antiblackness and how they benefit from our continued subjugation but will never truly get anywhere with it. Solidarity will save us, but we can’t have solidarity with communities who think being antiblack and supporting or excusing antiblackness is just a white people thing.
- Find – and vet – a local bail fund for protests in your area and donate to them once you see that arrests are picking up.
- Reach out to local Black charities and organizations and ask directly how you can help.
- Write your local newspaper with a stern letter to the editor..
- STOP DONATING TO SHAUN KING! (That man is a scammer literally preying on white guilt about antiblackness and retraumatizing Black people with images of violence on the regular. We have no proof that any of the money he’s claimed to have raised over the past decade has gone anywhere that it should’ve.)
- If you can attend a protest safely, please do so. If you can’t, again… find ways to support protests.
- Here is the Official Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund
- Check in on your Black friends but please don’t unload on us. Now is not the time for guilt. It is the time for action!
I don’t know when it’ll be easy to create again. I’m working on it. But it’ll be easier to write if I know that more folks are making the active choice to be allies and put their energy where their social media posts are about antiblackness.
This is about George Floyd’s murder, yes. But it is also about centuries of antiblackness and how it has yet to truly get better for us. It is about how a Black reporter was arrested for doing his job before George Floyd’s murderer was arrested. It’s about a president quoting a segregationist to rile up his base. It’s about the fact that we live in an antiblack world and we are tired of watching our peers’ deaths get blasted across every single news station with minimal censorship and next to no action.
Please do what you can to help.